There hasn’t been all that much information released on the Nikon Z 58mm f/0.95 S Noct lens. We know that it’s 58mm, that it’s f/0.95 and manual focus, and we believe that it’s going to cost approximately $6,000. The lens is expected to be released at some point this year, but beyond that, there’s not really much to go on.
But Nikon had one on display att CP+ 2019, and Matt Granger got the chance to have a bit of a play with one. In this video, he lets us know his thoughts, and I have to say, for a lens that’s so expensive, it seems fairly useless. Created simply as a proof of concept more than a lens they actually expect people to buy in order to flex their muscles for the competition.
Matt also takes a hands-on look at the 24-70mm f/2.8 S and 14-30mm f/4 S coming out this year. About those, he notes that the 14-30mm f/4 doesn’t feel quite as well built as some of Nikon’s higher-end lenses, despite having a price tag of $1,300. He said that it doesn’t feel “bad”, but it certainly doesn’t feel like a premium quality lens. The 70-200mm f/2.8, though, he says, feels very good, although he still doesn’t put it at quite the build quality level of the F mount Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8E FL ED VR for DSLRs.
When it came to the Nikon Z 58mm f/0.95 S Noct, Matt observed people trying out the lens before him struggling to use the thing, even with very solid tripods. The depth of field is so thin at f/0.95, that the slightest movement from you or your subject quickly throws things out of focus. And if you’re trying to follow a moving subject, forget it.
And the focus throw on this lens is just ridiculous, it’s even more than most cinema lenses, covering almost 360 degrees of rotation from 0.5 metres up to infinity. So, if your subject does go out of focus, you could be winding that thing around for a while to try and catch up to them.
The lens has a relatively small 82mm filter thread on the front, which is quite surprising. I would’ve expected a lens this large and with this wide of an aperture to be something similar to the Sigma 105mm f/1.4, which has an insanely huge 105mm filter thread. But, no, 82mm. It also has a tripod collar with a small foot underneath. It doesn’t appear to be Arca Swiss profiled, though, which is unfortunate.
Even for manual focus ninjas, this is going to be a very tough lens to use by the looks of it. And for 6 grand, you’re probably going to want to have a good play with it first before putting your money down.
Given Leica’s claims, and then Sony’s recent muscle-flexing citing possible f/0.63 E Mount lenses, now the reality of the 58mm f/0.95 usability (albeit in a show environment), this little muscle-flexing competition could get quite entertaining.